A FIFTH OF school children think their dinners are not up to scratch. A similar number also say the meals could be healthier and want to see more fruit and salad on menus.
However, more than 40% are very happy with their meals – giving them top marks in a poll by the Sunday Times.
The paper also surveyed parents as part of its “better school meals” campaign. Some parents likened school catering to “a prison canteen” but many said they wanted “all children to have school dinners, without the option of a packed lunch”, in order to make it cost effective to provide quality meals.
The emphasis on price rather than quality in public sector catering has been under close scrutiny since the horse meat scandal.
The National Association of Head Teachers said that school meals are being delivered at “rock bottom prices” and has warned that things are unlikely to change unless the government frees up more funding.
In Scotland’s tendering process, price is reportedly “three times” more important than quality.
Meanwhile, a report last year found that the number of children in England’s schools having healthy meals is rising.